Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent Begins the New Year!

Advent Presence, a new book from Melford "Bud" Holland begins the New Year for us and for Morehouse Publishing. Bud is a priest, storyteller, and photographer. He enjoys talking about "the big questions," and those who know him have been waiting for this book, I'm sure. Earlier, Bud served in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, where he learned much from his friend, Bishop Frank Turner, as they challenged each other with "the big questions." Retired as the Officer for Ministry Development for the Episcopal Church, Bud now serves as an interim priest, consultant, and EfM trainer. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Bud loves to tell stories, and he has a lot of them. It seems that wherever he has worked, or served, or encouraged, he has gathered some interesting stories about the people he has come to know there. Every chapter could begin or end with stories and what we can learn from them. There is a line of type across the book cover that says Kissed by the Past, Beckoned by the Future and it may draw you in to hear the stories.

Did you know, or did you recently hear that now, in the Old Year, before we move via Advent to the New Year, we have already begun to hear of incidents that happened many years ago in the New Year! Why? Does the Lord want us to know now! Yes, he probably does. So some of the stories happened  before January 1, and the stories and incidents were recorded earlier. The Lord wants us to know now! So we begin the New Year knowing what is coming, already praying about what will happen. We may be feeling the presence of God rising in his people.

Bud Holland says that "The yearning for the coming of Messiah was palpable in the hundreds of years leading up to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The Jews felt assured that God would not abandon them." Along with them, we may be singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel on that day and we may be feeling God's presence "in the present moment, kissed by the past, and beckoned by the future."

---Lois Sibley, ireviewreligiousbks